The money you donate to the Canadian Harambee Education Society is held in the CHES bank accounts in Canada until money is needed to pay school fees and other necessary expenses in Kenya and Tanzania. CHES accounts are audited annually and all financial operations comply with Canadian Government regulations for Registered Charities.
School fees in Kenya and Tanzania are paid at set times in the year. Before payments are due, the funds needed to pay the upcoming school fees and expenses are wired to the CHES accounts in banks in these countries.
In Kenya, the funds are the responsibility of the on-site Canadian agents, who are in charge of paying for staff salaries and office expenses. They are also responsible for girls’ tuition and related school charges, uniforms, room and board. They prepare a list of the students for whom fees will be paid and send these lists, with prepared cheques, to each school by registered mail. The fees differ from school to school. Where fees are higher than the sponsor pays per student per year, we call upon general donations made to CHES to make up the shortfall.
In Tanzania, CHES does not have year-round Canadian agents. Our local agents are Tanzanians with whom we have worked for many years, and who have amply demonstrated their fiscal responsibility and competence. They make arduous trips to 30 different schools to check on each girl and to pay their fees and ensure that all have returned to school.
The cost of living is lower in Tanzania than in Kenya, but the people have very low incomes. Most families are subsistence farmers and pastoralists. The schools are also very poor, so the sponsors’ fees are used to cover not only school fees, uniforms and so on, as in Kenya, but also in part for textbooks, tutorials, mosquito nets and other necessities to support the girls at school.
The responsibility for the agents in Tanzania is in the hands of the local Board Chairman and the Treasurer. The Tanzanian Board is also responsible for all expenses related to the maintaining of the CHES office. CHES agents visit up to three times a year. The CHES Treasurer in Canada monitors all expenses.
CHES’s agents in Kenya and Tanzania email reconciled bank spread sheets, bank statements and copies of cheque vouchers to the CHES Treasurer in Canada each month. The CHES Canada Board is very proud of the fact that in close to 30 years of African operation there have been no instances of the misuse of funds in either country. Towards the end of each tax year, a tax receipt is sent to each donor. U.S. donors receive a receipt through the Humanist Society.
Many sponsors voluntarily pay more than the $600 per girl sponsorship fee each year. Most of these funds are targeted to special projects, such as the building of hostels, text books for both countries, Life Skills workshops and Canadian organizational expenses. Non-targeted funds are directed to student needs and school expenses in Tanzania and Kenya as they arise.
The success of CHES can be directly attributed not only to the wonderful support of our many donors, but also to the hundreds of volunteer hours contributed by dedicated Board members and supporters in Canada, Tanzania and Kenya. Agents in Africa not only volunteer their time but pay their own travel and living expenses. CHES is also very fortunate to have been given a rent-free office in Surrey, BC, Canada, courtesy of the Surrey Teachers’ Association. Canadian Board members also seek to improve CHES’s financial situation by applying for appropriate Private Sector grants.
Thus the CHES Board continually seeks ways to support an administrative infrastructure which will manage donations responsibly, ensure funds are appropriately spent in their respective African destinations, provide quality communication with more than 1000 sponsors and, most important of all, enable as many eligible African girls as possible to receive a Secondary Education.